FORCE OF EVIL – Black Empire

FORCE OF EVIL - Black Empire


Escapi Music
Release date: March 29, 2005

User Review
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Force Of Evil’s new release, Black Empire, is really good news to all full and part-time Devil worshippers out there. Guitarists Michael Denner and Hank Sherman, founding members of Mercyful Fate and Kind Diamond’s former brothers in arms, are to many the founding fathers of Black Metal. Now the dual guitar veterans, and the rest of the Force Of Evil crew, have released a new album, the first since their 2003 self-titled debut.

If the Devil is to celebrate his birthday, Force Of Evil will be the first band asked to play at the party. There is evilness enough here for everyone. The lyrics are full of “Hell,” “demons,” “666,” “Satan,” “darkness,” “graveyard,” “hate,” “Armageddon,” “Lucifer” and more … and “the holy church will burn”, of course. The track “S.O.S.” is not about the need for help (well … ) but behind the distress signal lies the message Sons Of Satan, will never fall, Sons Of Satan, will conquer all”. Good to know.

Singer/screamer Martin Steene, also known as Ironfire’s front man, tries his best at sounding as theatrical and sinister as Uncle Diamond, but his voice lacks the routine and the force to quite get there. Another thing, the vocals are so multi-layered in the mix, they will probably need a freaking choir to do the songs live.

Denner and Sherman’s routine makes up for a lot, though. The overall Classic Metal guitar work is throughout skillful and heavy. However, to a unpleasantly big extent, you get the feel they are taking care of business rather that trying to explore new areas of their musical abilities. Way too often the results somehow sound too parodical in their effort to do so.

It is hard to pick outstanding tracks from Black Empire. Most of the material is all done in the same Classic Metal way, and lacks inventiveness. The same elements are used over and over. However, songs like “Death Comes Crawling” and “The Sinister Show” sure are fine examples on Black and Classic Heavy Metal.

Anyways, this is an album for the fans, so enjoy!


Michael Denner: Lead guitar
Hank Sherman: Lead guitar
Martin Steene: Vocals
Hal Patino: Bass
Bjarne T. Holm: Drums

Producer: Neil Kernon (Judas Priest, Queensryche, Nevermore)

Subsequent Special Edition Release:
In 2006, Force of Evil re-released Black Empire with 2 Live Bonus tracks, “Desecration Of Souls” and “The Calling,” along with a video of “Back To Hell.” The re-release also includes a beefed up liner notes booklet! Check out the bonus tracks by requesting them on Metal Express Radio!


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